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While it is easy to overlook the importance of a low slung coffee table as an afterthought in your interior design, the reality is that placing a table (however small) at the heart of a social gathering makes it an important item. Whether your coffee table is used to hold hot drinks, magazines or even a vase, it will most likely take pride of place between sofas and armchairs or even as a partition between the sofa and the TV in your living room. With this in mind, getting the right coffee table is incredibly important – and what better way to catch the eye than with a beautifully crafted rattan coffee table?
Rattan coffee tables: where it all startedDid you know that the very first coffee tables were actually shelves attached to the wall? Over time as the taste for sitting around to socialise over a hot drink grew, these shelves were adapted so that they did not require people to stay close to the walls of a room. By the 18th century, small tables had been introduced which were specifically designed for holding drinks, although these were actually tea tables rather than coffee tables.
Tea at this time was very fashionable, and so tea tables spread through the homes of the wealthy. Tea tables, while being an early version of coffee tables, had a different shape and size. Usually round in shape, they were much taller than a standard coffee table today.
It was during the Victorian era that the low-slung coffee table became more popular, particularly as entertaining at home reached its zenith. No 19th century parlour was complete without a low table in the centre of the room on which drinks could be placed. Usually, coffee tables of this period were heavy, solid dark wood and had ornate features like carved legs.
By the time the 20th century came around, homeowners were opting for lighter and more varied styles of coffee table. In the 1930s and 40s, rattan emerged in the West as a popular furniture material once its robustness and exotic appearance began to be appreciated. Rattan coffee tables soon became a must-have fashionable item.
Why choose a rattan coffee table?Vintage rattan coffee tables can vary significantly in design, size and shape. While some are geometric for a more traditional look, some have been made with unusual designs to really draw the eye. Some are made entirely from rattan, while others have metal or wooden legs, or even wooden frames for extra formality and robustness.
Rattan furniture tends to have a more casual look, making rattan coffee tables an ideal choice for a conservatory or garden room, and thanks to their exotic appearance they add a contemporary look to any space.Although you can still find modern rattan coffee tables for sale, many are designed for use outdoors. While these are attractive, they are usually made with synthetic materials rather than the real thing. This gives them a less organic feel and a less authentic finish.
Vintage rattan coffee tables also come in a range of unusual shapes and sizes. Many will add something unique to your home thanks to their special designs. As they have also been built to last, you can be confident that you’re buying a piece that will stand the test of time.
Add character and personality to your home with our vintage rattan pieces.